Efficiency of Diver-Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) of Invasive Milfoil in New Hampshire Waterbodies
Management of aquatic invasive species is necessary to conserve affected freshwater ecosystems and to protect the integrity of recreational activities. Myriophyllum heterophyllum (variable milfoil) is an aquatic invasive species that has invaded many waterbodies in the United States and has been actively dispersing throughout New England. It is crucial to employ milfoil management methods in affected areas that productively remove milfoil without causing further harm to existing ecosystems. Diver assisted-suction harvesting (DASH) is a variable milfoil management technique that has continually demonstrated efficient aquatic invasive species removal. In this study, two different sites located in New Hampshire were examined to assess the efficiency of hand- pulling and DASH to determine whether DASH assists divers in harvesting greater amounts of variable milfoil than hand-pulling and to evaluate if a correlation exists between the gallons of milfoil removed and the number of hours worked. Linear regressions and t-tests were utilized in data analysis. It was found that greater amounts of milfoil were removed using DASH than hand-pulling and there exists a correlation between the number of hours worked and gallons of milfoil removed. Efficient removal of aquatic invasive species is integral in preserving the health of waterbodies.
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